Towards a Suite of Problems for Comparison of Product Platform Design Methods: A Proposed Classification


This paper presents the status of an ongoing project to develop a comprehensive suite of test problems suitable for comparing methods for scale-based product platform design. Despite a growing body of work in the area, there is no adequate set of testbed example problems for product platform design and benchmarking. A lack of consensus as to exactly what scale-based platform design entails has also hampered comparison of methods. In order to make a comprehensive test suite, we first need to define what different capabilities of platform design methods should be tested. To further this end, a classification scheme for example problems for scale-based platform design is presented. This simple taxonomy classifies example problems on the basis of two criteria: selection of platform architecture and incorporation of market demand. A brief review of examples from the literature shows that the existing examples are useful to test only a few of the capabilities of platform design methods. A new extension of an existing example, the design of a family of universal electric motors, is presented to test capabilities not covered by the existing set. This extended example is the first in our suite of examples.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Platform Design; Product Family; Scale-Based Design; Taxonomy

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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